The late Zsa Zsa Gabor would love it that people are still in awe of her glam life.
Gabor, who died in December 2016 at 99, was known for being famous for being famous decades before today’s era of people gaining celebrity by way of reality shows or social media. Gabor acted in movies such as 1952’s Moulin Rouge, yet she was better known for her personal life: marrying nine times (once more than Elizabeth Taylor) and being arrested for slapping a Beverly Hills police officer in 1989 and the high-profile trial that followed. She called everyone “dahling” and offered juicy quotes to the press, such as, “I never hated a man enough to give him his diamonds back.” Gabor was Taylor, Kim Kardashian, and Mariah Carey all rolled into one, with some Paris Hilton thrown in. (Coincidentally, Gabor was married to Hilton’s great-grandfather Conrad Hilton in the ’40s, and Paris was one of the first celebrities to comment on Gabor’s death.)
At the time of Gabor’s death, she was married to Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt, whom she wed in 1986. He has surfaced in the tabloids over the years due to various scandals and the fact that he spoke on his wife’s behalf for the final years of her life, as she struggled with health issues. Von Anhalt has remained in the L.A. home he shared with Gabor for decades, and he watched Thursday as the public browsed pieces that belonged to his late wife before they’re auctioned off on Saturday, April 14.
“It’s very emotional, but, you know, I have to do it,” Von Anhalt told Yahoo Entertainment. “I just have to do it. She wanted her fans to have it and lots of people around the world, I’ve got all the letters, lots of fans she has, and they just want a piece of her.”
The setting looked more like a museum than a home. Gabor’s personal address books, artwork, jewelry, and other effects were on display — some in glass cases — ahead of the auction that will first take place in Beverly Hills before going online. Fans and collectors of Old Hollywood memorabilia will relish items from Gabor’s designer wardrobe, items she wore both on the red carpet and as a guest star on Batman, Bonanza, and other shows. They can even take home one of her address books — although most of the information is presumably not current — which list private information on her gang of celebrity friends and hairdressers that she could call in Europe, New York, or L.A. Her personal photos with the famous, including former President Richard Nixon and former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, are there, too.
For someone with such a big presence, Gabor often preferred to have an audience of one, von Anhalt insisted.
“She wanted to be at home with me,” he said of his wife, who was 20 years his senior. “She wanted to go to the big parties, but only for a few minutes. ‘Let’s go and have dinner together.’ She concentrated very much on me.”
The table where the couple ate some of those dinners is on the block too. Photos of it and all the items up for sale in the auction of Zsa Zsa Gabor’s estate are available to browse at Heritage Auctions.
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